Travelling with a Little Champion can be daunting at times, especially when you are trying to navigate a busy city such as London.
We hope that this area of our website will assist you in planning your trip and accessing the support you deserve. See our options below, to read our Little Champions guide to London:
Transport for London recognises the importance of having transport which is accessible. They provide information on how to plan your journey and the transport you should use if you want step-free access or assisted travel services. The TfL Go app and Journey Planner allows you to select ‘accessibility and travel options’ and from here you can input how far you are happy to walk, the types of transport you would like to use and whether you would like to avoid stairs and escalators. For more information and access to their ‘Accessible travel in London’ guide, please visit their website.
Fancy an alternative way of travelling around London? The Uber Boat can be a great way to travel to your destination, while also seeing London from the River Thames. Children aged 4 and under travel for free, while children between the ages of 5 and 15 receive a 50% discount on all fares. If you purchase a Family River Roamer ticket kids up to 15 go free. All their piers are step-free and wheelchair accessible, except for Cadogan, London Bridge City and Wandsworth Riverside Quarter. All the boats are wheelchair, mobility scooter and pram accessible.
If you would like an aerial view of the London skyline whilst travelling from Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks, the Emirates Air Line may be your best mode of transport! It offers views of the Thames, London’s skyline, the Greenwich Peninsula, the Royal Docks and the O2 arena. There is lift access to the boarding platform and from the boarding platform there is level access to the cable cars. The cabins can be brought to a standstill to enable passengers with mobility issues to board. However, please note there are no accessible toilets for public use at this venue.
In his blog on accessible travel, John Morris, founder of Wheelchair Travel points out that all London black cabs are accessible to wheelchairs on account of the built in ramp. He notes that the ramp can be a little steep and is much easier if it comes down on to a curb rather than the road itself. There are loads of tips on accessible travel on John’s Wheelchair Travel website:
Euan’s guide also provides useful information on accessible travel. Euan points out some of the pitfalls of using the standard black cab such as the ramps being flimsy and steep and there is no room to turn inside which involves exiting the cab backwards. He does recommend one particular model of London black cab, the ‘Vista Comfort Plus’ which is much more spacious and the ramp is longer and more robust.
Ablestay London are in the process of building London’s first fully accessible holiday home, launching Autumn 2021. Keep track of its progress via their website or Instagram. This accommodation will be providing a ceiling track hoist, profiling bed, adapted bathroom, height adjustable bath and much more!
The following websites provide recommendations for accessible London Hotels:
Sage Traveling: sagetraveling.com/london-wheelchair-accessible-hotels
Wheelchair Travel: wheelchairtravel.org/london/hotels/
Visit London: visitlondon.com/where-to-stay/hotel/accessible-hotels
Disabled Holidays: disabledholidays.com/search/uk-l23/england-l24/southern-england-l1403/london-l321/
Tash’s Accessible Travels – accessible experiences with a smile – tashsaccessibletravels.co.uk
Changing Places toilets
Many Little Champions cannot use a standard accessible toilet, which can make life tricky when away from home. Changing places toilets are larger accessible toilets with equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers. There are lots of Changing Places toilets in London and the following map can help locate the nearest one to you:
Staying Active and Getting Out
Home to over 2,300 paintings, a visit to the National Gallery is the perfect day out for those with a love of art. The Gallery offers British Sign Language-interpreted talks on paintings for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing. As part of their facilities, they have a changing place toilet and one designated blue badge parking space on Orange Street (48-hour advance booking required to park here). If you would rather not travel to the Gallery itself, they offer virtual tours on their website where you can enjoy the artwork from the comfort of your own home!
Discover two million years of human history and culture at the British Museum. The museum is wheelchair friendly with level access at the Montague Place entrance. Large print guides for selected galleries can be downloaded off their webpage and they have a range of support packages to tailor to the needs of visitors.
Contact: [email protected]
Be amazed by their world-class collection of scientific, technological and medical advancements from across the globe. You can borrow a wheelchair from the museum and most videos throughout the museum have subtitles. The museum hosts British Sign Language events and object-handling sessions throughout the year.
Offering an unmatched view of London, the London Eye allows entry to two wheelchair users per capsule and eight in total at any one time. However, please note they are unable to book on the day bookings for wheelchair slots. To book tickets in advance please visit their website.
Sign-up to receive the Access London Theatre newsletter from the Society of London Theatre and find out about upcoming accessible performances. Accessible performances include performances which are: audio described, captioned, BSL interpreted and relaxed (where performances are adapted to reduce anxiety and support the needs of members of the audience).
Have you ever considered completing the climb of the O2 arena? Wheelchair climbs take place from late Spring to early Autumn. For more information about the logistics of the climb please visit their website below:
Home to over 55 rides and attractions and 80 million lego bricks, LEGOLAND is a great choice for a family day out. Get in touch with those at LEGOLAND and they will be able to discuss your accessibility options.
Explore the link between transport and the growth of London, since 1800. For families with Special Educational Needs (SEN), including Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the museum opens outside of regular hours on certain days. This allows visitors to enjoy the museum at a quieter time and with many of the gallery sounds turned off.
KEEN London provides one-to-one support at free sports and activity sessions for children with additional needs. Their weekly sessions give athletes the chance to play games, make friends and, most importantly, have fun!
Has your little champion ever wanted to do athletics, marathons, tennis, skiing, curling, rugby or any other type of sport? If yes, Get Kids Going! provides children and young people with additional needs with specially built sports wheelchairs so they can get involved. They aim to inspire youngsters to compete in sporting events, from start to Paralympic level.
Disability Sports Coach have established a network of London wide community clubs, where little champions can take part in training workshops and enjoy inclusive coaching. A fantastic opportunity to stay active and meet others!
Access Sport’s vision is that no one should be excluded from the transformational benefits of community sport. Through their training of local volunteers and community organisations, groups learn how to develop a more inclusive environment.
Based in Richmond Small Steps open their doors to children, and their parent or carer, each week for a group session. This session includes a team of teachers, conductors and physiotherapists who focus on helping each child achieve their next developmental steps.
CPotential provides tailored rehabilitation therapy and support to children and young people with movement disorders, due to cerebral palsy. They offer a wide range of services from occupational therapy, to music therapy to wellbeing support. CPotential’s centre is based in leafy Muswell Hill, north London and they have free on-site parking. If you are interested in accessing their services, they invite you to attend an initial assessment.
I Can Dance aims to nurture creativity, learning and wellbeing in children and young people with disabilities through dance and movement. Be a part of their wonderful community by joining their dance sessions or parent therapy groups.
Inclusion London supports over 70 Deaf and Disabled Organisations working across every London borough.
The Bobath centre is a charity dedicated to supporting those living with cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions. They have a specialist treatment and training centre, so that you can access the support you need.
If something doesn’t quite go to plan during your trip, the Disability Justice Project has advice on its website and template letters which you can use to challenge discrimination.
Guidance for Little Champions
Please find out more about any of the following areas in our guide: